Issues and Facts
  • Kinetic Energy Brings Families Together in Prison

    Posted on   4/1/2015  4:10 PM

    What a month!

    We organized close to 20 Prison Bonding Trips across Florida in March, reuniting more than 500 children with their incarcerated parents.

    At many of those trips, our #KidPower 2015 project released the kinetic energy of education, parenting, creativity, compassion, love, and fun! That’s the way one of our directors, Pastor Linda Freeman, described the initiative, which involved building bicycle generators to power laptop computers --- all of this in prison!

    Pastor Linda envisioned the project whose curriculum was to develop engineering and math skills while learning a simple, clean energy technology to generate electricity. Learn more here.

    The project, of course, accomplished so much more. It broke the ice between our children and their incarcerated parents, bringing hugs, laughs, and learning – lots of learning – for families split apart by incarceration.

    At Everglades Correctional Institution near Miami, one little boy got on the bike and took a bunch of pictures with his dad. They had a blast together!

    As Pastor Linda explained, the little boy was so intrigued by the bicycle generator and how it worked that he took on the role of engineering technician. He did voltmeter readings of the battery, helped troubleshoot when there were lose wires, and he coached the other kids.

    He was learning and leading.

    Meanwhile, the boy’s dad took part in the skit “When Dad Gets a New Address,” which was created by the institution’s Arts Expression Group (led by Lela Lombardo, a core team member of our organization). When the child heard the actors portraying a son and his interaction with his incarcerated father, he blurted out: “I miss my dad too” and began to cry.

    When the skit ended, the boy and his father talked about how they really felt about incarceration and the circumstances that faced them in the coming years.

    These are the moments Children of Inmates creates. It’s how we strengthen the bond between children and their imprisoned parents and mitigate the trauma caused by the separation.

    Kinetic energy is an amazing thing, right?

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